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Mahe Fonua became the first Victorian to play for the Melbourne Storm in 2012.

For the fourth time in five games the Storm head back out on the road to take on the Wests Tigers and Leichhardt Oval on Friday night.

The month of July has seen the Victorian side chalk up the frequent flyer miles, heading to New Zealand twice and a trip to Canterbury.

Friday night's game will also be the club's fourth in 19 days since their bye week back in round 17.

In that time Melbourne has managed to rejuvenate their season with back to back wins but it is a heavy toll on a playing group that has already gone through a tumultuous Origin period that saw them win just one of six games.

Coach Craig Bellamy knows his side is used to plenty of travel over the years but admits the club's recent schedule has been a challenging one to overcome.

"It is tough going but that is the way it is at the moment," he said.

"Hopefully that will change in the future once the TV rights get done and the NRL have got a little bit more say in the scheduling, we are all looking forward to that."


A six-day break was essentially cut to five for the Storm who took a lengthy two-flight trip back from Napier where they sold last week's home game against the Dragons.

"We have had a pretty hectic week with travel… so just getting the boys recovered has been our main emphasis this week," Bellamy said. 

"Hopefully we've done a good job with that. We've had a couple of light sessions this week so hopefully they'll be reasonably fresh."

Melbourne received a significant boost to their chances against Wests after star prop Jesse Bromwich was found not guilty by the NRL judiciary for his dangerous contact charge on Josh Dugan.

Friday night's game will also see Mahe Fonua become the first Victorian to play 50 NRL games for the Storm.

Fonua made his Storm debut back in 2012, becoming the first Victorian to do so.

His coach conceded the going had been tough for the 22-year-old along the journey but his story would no doubt give hope to other young men looking to follow in his footsteps. 

"Mahe has taken a little while to get to 50... but that is a tremendous achievement from him," Bellamy said.

"He has had some injuries along the way, times where he has been dropped as well so he has shown a lot of resilience and I think he is getting better each and every year.

"The good thing about it is that he has lead the way and showed that if you want to be a rugby league player in Melbourne, then you are capable of doing it. 

"He is a real role model for the young guys who are born and bred in Melbourne."

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